Power Rankings: Week 5  

Posted by Frazier

1) USC

Walter - I am less worried about the Trojans' apparent lack of interest in these early games, as I am the inconsistent production from the wideouts and running backs. The hallmark of USC's championship teams was explosive production from those positions (Williams, Smith, Jarrett, Bush, White to name a few), and I am not sure they can win with defense alone.

Frazier - Some people seem to be killing USC for looking sluggish at Washington. Frankly, considering all the teams that blew their season Saturday, I tend to think that USC deserves some credit. Also, the refs were apparently out to get the Trojans with a slew of ludicrous penalties. Not an inspiring performance, but last Saturday, hanging on was enough to get the job done.

2) LSU

Walter - Everyone knows about the defense, but the Tigers offensive line was dominant against a stout South Carolina front 7 and they may have found their own version of "Tim Tebow" in the power running Ryan Perriloux.

Frazier - I'm hardly going to leap-frog LSU over USC after they seriously struggled against Tulane. Leading 10-9 at halftime just isn't getting it done. It hardly matters as there is a grand canyon sized gap between the top 2 and the rest of the field.

3) California

Walter - Who says the Pac-10 isn't as good as the SEC? California is clearly one of the top teams in the nation, despite the fact that they play no defense. The bottom line is that this is a very talented offense with Nate Longshore and Justin Forsett, but Desean Jackson's presence makes them unstoppable and serious national title contenders.

Frazier - A very, very, very impressive win against Oregon on Saturday. One of the better wins of the year. They managed to hang on for dear life, and make plays when they absolutely had to. I feel like we've seen this from the Bears before, so I'm not going to get all hot and bothered by this years version. Still, they've staked their claim to the 3-spot with gusto.

4) South Florida

Walter - Ben Moffitt for Heisman. Seriously, you may not see a better performance all year than the one the senior linebacker put in against West Virginia. More importantly, however, you may not find a defense in America with more NFL talent. The Bulls are quietly stacked on that side of the ball with Moffitt, Williams, Jenkins, and Selvie all potential day one NFL picks.

Frazier - WOW! This spot went from Florida to South Florida in the course of a week. This is where the true insanity starts. Not only was the win against WVU an absolute statement, but the earlier win AT Auburn suddenly looks like a very, very good victory. We love what Jim Leavitt has accomplished. Now we have to see how this team responds with a bullseye on the back. How will the hunters fare when they're the hunted?

5) Ohio St.

Walter - Ugh, I really wish they'd lose because I am running out of things to say about them. Todd Boeckman has been a nice surprise, but really we can't judge this team at all until they play someone, anyone, who'll put up a fight.

Frazier - It's a war of attrition this week in the power rankings. Ohio St. hasn't looked terribly impressive, and the entire Big Ten is suspect, and yet they are the odds-on favorite for the 5-hole. Could they go undefeated in a soft Big Ten? Maybe. Could they lose this weekend against Purdue or in a brutal 10-7 snooze fest against PSU? Sure. Whatever, enjoy the ranking and wake me up when you play someone with a pulse (it's unclear whether Purdue counts or not).

6) Boston College

Walter - Break up the Eagles. Well not quite. BC was less than impressive against UMass on Saturday but they managed not to blow it like half the top 10 did. The Eagles are in good shape with a Heisman caliber QB leading them, and the rest of the ACC beating up on each other. That said, the stay in the top 10 could be short thanks to an absolutely brutal stretch of games to end the season (@ VTech, @ Clemson, Florida State and Miami).

Frazier - How do you move up four spots when you struggle against UMass and almost put me to sleep in the oven that is Alumni Stadium? Well, you don't completely shit the bed, and everyone else does. I was happy to stick the Eagles at #10 and leave them until they did something, and all of a sudden they're high risers. Once again, they'll be hanging out in this area for a couple of more weeks while they dispatch garbage teams (presumably, after Saturday, who knows?)

7) Kentucky

Walter - The Wildcats are a great story, and Andre Woodson is supremely talented. But lets take a quick step back. This team hasn't exactly been slaying beasts throught he first 5 weeks. Yes Arkansas and Louisville were ranked when they were beaten by Kentucky, but how do those wins look now? They made it this far in the rankings by winning games they should have won. I'd be very wary of South Carolina and their #1 ranked pass defense if I were them.

Frazier - This could be an incredibly short stay. The game against South Carolina should be a nail-biter. But for the moment Kentucky remains undefeated in the vicious SEC. While the rest of the league is cannibalizing itself, Rich Brooks and company have held serve. A win Thursday and these guys may continue the climb. Of course Andre Woodson needs to be perfect, perfect. With that defense, there is no room for error.

8) Wisconsin

Walter - I think Wisconsin is overrated too, but underdogs at Illinois? Are you fucking kidding me? I don't care that the Illini beat Penn State with the utterly dispicable Anthony Morigami at the helm, there is simply no way they should be favored in this game. That said, I sure hope they win, and they actually have decent personnel to do so. Still, the last thing this Wisconsin team needs is motivation to continue their crappy, yet effective play.

Frazier - Speaking of attrition... Look, I'm on record as saying that the Badgers are a bunch of bums. That hasn't changed. It just so happens that the teams in front of them are actually a bigger bunch of bums. I am truly sick of this team, but no one has been able to put them out of my misery.

9) Kansas St.

Walter - Kansas State has been a great story and Frazier says all there is to say. So I will take this space to once again plug the brilliant work of Matt Hallerstedt, the Wildcats' special teams and linebackers coach. His two units literally outscored the entire Texas team last weekend. Good job Matt.

Frazier - The team with the best win of the season is our choice to be the first one-loss team in the rankings this year. The loss at Auburn to begin the season is no great sin, and the performance last week AT Texas was startling. The absolutely, positively, without a doubt demolished the Longhorns at their own house. That game was no fluke. It was the second consecutive win for Ron Prince and company over Texas, and it they did it by dominating all three phases of the game.

10) Oregon

Walter - They barely lost and they barely drop. There is no doubt that if California is good enough to be ranked #3, then Oregon deserves to be in the top 10. Football truly is a game of inches, and if Colvin gets that ball another inch before losing it, Oregon probably wins the game in OT. He didn't and the Ducks lost, but all is not lost. If Oregon runs the table for the rest of the year, including a win over USC, they will be in great shape to get a BCS berth (especially if California loses to USC, which seems to be an annual tradition).

Frazier - The team with the best loss of the season is our second one-loss team in the rankings. I mean, how far can you drop a team that was literally 2 inches away from tying the game at home against Cal last week. I honestly believe that if the Ducks break the plane, they have the edge at home in overtime. Especially with Dixon capable of making plays with his legs and his arm, and a totally underrated running attack led by Stewart. The Ducks may have lost, but it was hardly a bad one, by inches, against the #3 team in the country.

Dropped off:

Oklahoma - Yuck. Way to surrender 17 fourth quarter points to blow the game.

Florida - No, Tim Tebow is NOT a one-man team.

West Virginia - The two-headed monster? Looked more like conjoined twins.

Clemson - You know, I saw this coming and did nothing. You can't teach an old dog new tricks, and you can't teach Tommy Bowden to not blunder against some lesser foe every year.

Just missed:

Mizzou - It's show-me for the show-me state. A win, and they might squeak in.

Purdue - The South Florida of this week. If they win they crack the rankings, if they lose they descend back to obscurity.


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